Arts

Seeing, Views, Awareness and Paradise Within B.C. Industrial Culture

To hunt requires vision.

 

 

Hunting is not necessary today. One-on-one interaction with the planet has become work.

Or recreation.

Canoeing on Big Bar Lake

Compare that to how the government sees it.

Industrial Page Design and Language Hard at Work

Do you see how that functions? A person lives in a city, and then goes to a place called “remote” to experience it, which (in industrialized language) creates “economic opportunities” for “rural communities,” which are defined as “remote” according to their distance from places from which people need to get away to re-create their selves (free of the industrialization of the language that sends them there).

A Self, Perhaps? In the Similkameen Country?

 It occurs on land that is owned by the central government in the name of the people (who it is calling “remote”)…

See how that works?

…and is a way of managing human populations to avoid land-use conflicts, such as between farmers and open pit miners, house-builders and range lessors and hopefully between grizzly bears, bunchgrass and off-road bicyclists.

Lewiston, Idaho

Note the fall rye sown to contain the damage of unregulated recreation. That it doesn’t, is beside the point.

It’s not very successful, but we’re dealing with humans. Back in the city, this set of cultural parameters is called a “view.”

The Rise, Golf Course, in Deer Season

It takes some work.

Kin Beach, A Recreation Site in Vernon, Being Made Safe

Its conflicts, although in plain site, are forgiven, because they are “private”, ie on land alienated from public use and given status as individually-owned (or publicly owned, as in the image above), which sometimes means “owned by a corporation.” At any rate, social etiquette asks that, although it is part of a view, one not “view” it. One is asked to politely set it apart and sort of look straight through it.

It’s remarkably easy. It is also vital that trail systems not overlook privately-owned ‘views.’

 

Also, Look Past the Smoke! That’s Global Warming. “Not Of Our Making” (Sure)

Those are dispensed as a form of status…

…and, yes, their sites are on display, but too much viewing weakens their value. Think “fortress” and you have it about right.

There Should Be Bus Tours of This Stuff

The work of erecting these stages for the live display of theatrical presentations of power is often the year-long assemblage by a large team of stagehands, using machine-fabricated components, assembled according to a blueprint or plan. As the sign on the pillar says, this devotion to the erection of the products of distant manufacturing is, well, “it’s who we are.”

But what of the Earth?

Simple. It’s a staging place for these “views.” One is either visually re-created or re-freshed by living within one of these stages, or one has the enjoyment of looking at the stage and making a script of it for oneself. There is always pleasure in looking at the elegance of power. It’s part of human social subordination and the ruses by which subordinated people maintain their independence even when excluded from full participation in the Earth. Ah, but what of hunting? Is it a matter of looking out over the land, seeing prey, or any other goal, and then shooting it from a distance? Is the Earth prey to a photographer?

Or is that a bird (and not a mountain), with a beak and two eyes? Well, the experts aren’t saying.

 

The thing about hunting is that one must let the land bring the prey and place it before you, but, of course, you need to be there, at the tip of the bird’s beak.

Using a view as an untrammelled view of eternal potential, or eternity, is a luxury, and as much an abuse of the Earth as anything else. In other words, the image below shows an industrial site.

Viewing it is the goal of art like this.

Another of society’s industrial forms is poetry, like the beautiful installation of words from Sara de Leeuw below:

From Outside, America, by Sara de Leeuw

It closes with an image of a kind of eternal paradise, of life removed from death or language removed from its dead form on the page, not dissimilar from the relationship between view and eternity I showed you above, although it’s conditional “as if” takes it further. Despite that wisdom, its form is as much a part of industrialized, disembodied culture, as are images like this:

Síya? Ripening

As de Leeuw points out so well, it’s best to get these social relationships out in the open. We can’t stop being human and staging ourselves, but we can be aware of the script. We can, for instance, replace “view” and “overlook” with “awareness”, a kind of irony or double-seeing that does not flinch from making the private public, and accept that to “place” is to “plant ourselves”, which is not recreation. It is creation, pure and simple. It is not in the past. If we deny that what we do is real and not a fiction or a break in routine, we diminish ourselves. For instance, by denying creation, we might see this elm branch as nature…

… or something else that is not us. If it sounds strange to say it is us, take that strangeness as a sign of how much we have become domesticated by language. What’s more…

… consider that the government’s language “They also help increase public awareness of environmental values” was actually written by a biological human and won’t do as it says, won’t “increase awareness.” It takes embodiment in the world, the actual transportation of humans to a site, to do that, in the language terms of the government, which are “view” terms. That’s the same as saying that this…

Above Olalla

… is paradise, and the object of hunting or seeing at a distance and capturing, in its continually regenerative form. Some people live there. Sending tourists to view this site is the same as sending them here:

Hence, I think, the fortress. There’s a lot at stake.

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